People apply for credit cards for different reasons. Some are looking to build their credit. Others may want to have one for emergencies. One thing should be the same for all though. You should be choosing you credit card; credit cards shouldn’t choose you.
Don’t just apply for the first offer you receive in the mail. There are so many different credit cards with different conditions and features. Shop around. Look at what is important to you and choose the one that best fits your needs. Here are 8 things to consider and compare when selecting a credit card.
8 Things to Consider when Credit Card Shopping
This is the introductory period in which you are not charged interest on your balance. This can be very beneficial as it is almost like an interest free loan to a certain extent. If you are transferring a balance or making a large purchase, you can save on interest provided you are able to pay the balance in full before the grace period is up.
If you are someone who carries a balance month to month, then you should pay close attention to the interest rate offered. A 10% difference can translate to a few hundred dollars a year depending on your balance.
Some credit cards offer cash back, statement credit, airline miles, or redeemable points for every purchase made. If you pay your balance in full, it’s like you’re getting paid to shop.
Fees and penalties.
Look at any fees and penalties that may be pertinent to you. If you frequently travel internationally, for example, you should be sure to choose a card with no fees on foreign purchases. Other fees to look at are those for balance transfers, cash advances, and annual fees.
Some credit cards will include your credit score on your monthly statement. You may also have access to credit simulators and credit alerts informing you of changes to your credit report. Others may offer extended warranties on items purchased with your card or zero fraud liability meaning you are not responsible for fraudulent charges on your account.
Look at the company overall. What makes them better? Are they accessible most of the time? Do they have a mobile application or options for customized cards? Consider what is important to you.
Credit card companies will provide recommendations. Some card options say they’re best for people with excellent or average credit. Others say they are for people who are rebuilding credit. Be sure to apply for the one that best reflects your credit to avoid being denied.
Think of how you intend to use this card and reflect on your own spending habits. This will help you determine where your focus should be. For example, if you like to pay your balances in full, rewards and perks may be more important to you. Above all, make sure this is the right choice for you and know your limits.